Grizzlies Preview: December 31, 2020 Rapid City at Utah
West Valley City, Utah - It's the home opener for Grizzlies as they take on the Rapid City Rush. It's been 311 days since the Grizzlies last hit home ice, where the defeated the Kansas City Maverick 3-0 on February 24th, 2020. In that game Ryan Wagner had 2 goals and goaltender Martin Ouellette got a 17 save shutout. With 1 second left in regulation Utah forward Garrett Klotz got in a fight with Kansas City's Loren Ulett. Klotz will be on the ice tonight but this time he's wearing a Rapid City uniform.
Diego Cuglietta Named ECHL Player of the Week Opening Week
Diego had 1 goal and 3 assists in 2 games last weekend. The highlight was a game deciding goal 8:18 into the 3rd period last Saturday to give Utah a 2-1 lead in a game they ended up winning 3-1.
Grizzlies Split Opening Weekend Series at RC
Utah won 3-1 on December 12th at Rapid City to split the 2 game series. Former Lake Superior State University teammates Diego Cuglietta and Brayden Gelsinger each scored 1 goal and 1 assist in the victory. They played together at LSSU for 3 seasons from 2017-2019. Peyton Jones earned his first professional win by stopping 21 of 22. Charlie Gerard and Cedric Pare had successful first weekends as professionals with 1 goal and 2 assists each.
Coach Branham Wins 250th Game
The December 12th win at Rapid City was Head Coach/GM Tim Branham's 250th win as Grizzlies coach. He is the winningest head coach in team history, followed by Butch Goring, who won 178 games.
Special Teams at Rapid City
Utah went 2 for 9 on the power play last weekend at RC. That 22.2 percent clip ranks number 1 in the league. Last season the Grizzlies were in the top 8 in the league in both the power play and penalty kill. The penalty kill last weekend was 5 for 6.
Transactions Since Last Game
Utah signed goaltender Parker Gahagen. Last season Gahagen played with the Newfoundland Growlers and had a record of 10-4 with a .939 save percentage and a 1.81 goals against average. Gahagen also played in 2 games for the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. Gahagen played his college hockey at Army, where he won 41 games in his 4 seasons at West Point. The Grizzlies Signed forwards Trey Bradley and Pat Cannone this week. Bradley scored 14 goals and 20 assists in 48 games for the Newfoundland Growlers in the 2019-20 season. Bradley spent 4 seasons at Colorado College from 2016-2019. Trey will be wearing number 14 for the Grizzlies. Cannone has 500 games of American professional hockey experience, including 3 in the NHL with the Minnesota Wild in the 2016-17 season. Cannone has 106 goals and 174 assists for 280 points in 8 seasons in the American Hockey League. In a separate move Utah released forwards Mike McNicholas, Tommy Besinger and Denis Smirnov.
Happy Birthday Jared Pike
Grizzlies forward and Sandy, Utah native Jared Pike is celebrating his 25th birthday tonight. He was born on December 31st, 1995.
Current Grizzlies vs Rapid City
Joe Wegwerth has 5 goals and 6 assists in 12 games vs RC. Yuri Terao had 4 goals and 8 assists in 10 games vs the Rush last season. Mitch Maxwell had 2 goals and 1 assist in 6 games vs RC. Christian Horn scored the last goal of the season on March 7th at Rapid City. It was Horn's debut with Utah after being acquired in a trade with Indy. Brad Barone is a former Rush goaltender. He had a 24 save shutout vs the Rush on December 7th, 2019. With Idaho last season Diego Cuglietta has 1 goal and 4 assist in 7 games vs the Rush. Tanner Jago has 2 assist in 10 games vs RC.
Series Stars at Rapid City on Dec. 11-12
Diego Cuglietta put together an award winning performance in the Black Hills, recording 1 goal and 3 assists and won the league's Player of the Week honors. Diego's college teammate at Lake Superior State, Brayden Gelsinger had 1 goal and 1 assist on Dec. 12th, a game Utah won 3-1. Charlie Gerard and Cedric Pare had successful first weekends as professionals with 1 goal and 2 assists each.
Forwards: Trey Bradley, Pat Cannone, Diego Cuglietta, Brayden Gelsinger, Charlie Gerard, Matt Hoover, Christian Horn, Jack Jenkins, Mitch Maxwell, Cedric Pare, Jared Pike, Yuri Terao, Joe Wegwerth.
Defenseman: Matt Abt, Miles Gendron, Edwin Hookenson, Tanner Jago, Garrett Johnston, Alex Lepkowski, Kris Myllari, Ian Scheid, Teigan Zahn.
Goaltenders: Brad Barone, Parker Gahagen, Peyton Jones.
2020-2021 Regular Season Totals (league rankings)
Overall record: 1-1
Home record (2019-20): 18-7-2-2. Utah has outscored opponents 90 to 66 at home.
Road record: 1-1.
Last 10 games: Utah was 4-2-2-2 last year in the last 10 games.
Goals per game: 3.50 (3rd in the league).
Goals against per game: 3.50 (Tied 8th).
Shots per game: 31.50 (6th).
Shots against per game: 28.50 (1st). Leads league.
Power Play: 22.2 % - 2 for 9 (2nd)
Penalty Kill: 83.3 % - 5 for 6 (9th).
Team Leaders (2020-21 season)
Goals: 7 players tied with 1 goal apiece.
Assists: Diego Cuglietta (3)
Points: Cuglietta (4)
Plus/Minus: Garrett Johnston (+3)
PIM: Matt Abt (4)
Power Play Points: Miles Gendron, Cedric Pare (2)
Shots on Goal: Charlie Gerard (11)
Shooting Percentage: Cuglietta, Michael McNicholas, Brayden Gelsinger (25.0 %)
Game Winning Goals: Cuglietta (1)
Wins: Peyton Jones (1)
Save %: Jones (.875)
Goals Against Average: Jones (3.50).
Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd OT SO TOTAL Shots 1st 2nd 3rd OT TOTAL
Utah Grizzlies 3 2 2 0 0 7 Utah Grizzlies 25 23 15 0 63
Opposition 1 3 3 0 0 7 Opposition 21 20 15 0 56
Head Coach: Tim Branham.
Assistant Coach: Ryan Kinasewich.
Equipment Manager: Matthew Schwegmann.
Trainer: Collin Lee.
Where to See and Hear the Game
You can catch every game on Flohockey.TV, the new home for ECHL.TV. The game can also be heard on Mixlr, the new broadcast home for Grizzlies hockey.
Watch Live: https://www.flohockey.tv/
Listen Live: https://mixlr.com/utah-grizzlies
Schedule From December 11th, 2020 - January 14th, 2021
Friday, December 11, 2020 - Utah 4, Rapid City 6.
Saturday, December 12, 2020 - Utah 3, Rapid City 1.
Thursday - Rapid City at Utah. 5:00 pm.
Friday, January 1, 2021 - Rapid City at Utah. 7:10 pm.
Saturday, January 2, 2021 - Rapid City at Utah. 7:10 pm.
Friday, January 8, 2021 - Utah at Tulsa. 7:05 pm.
Saturday, January 9, 2021 - Utah at Tulsa. 7:05 pm.
Sunday, January 10, 2021 - Utah at Tulsa. 4:05 pm.
2nd Wave of the 2020-21 Schedule
Friday, January 15th, 2020 - Kansas City at Utah. 7:10 pm
Saturday, January 16th, 2020 - Kansas City at Utah. 7:10 pm
Monday, January 18th, 2020 - Kansas City at Utah. 5:10 pm
Friday, January 22nd , 2020 - Utah at Rapid City. 7:05 pm
Saturday, January 23rd , 2020 - Utah at Rapid City. 7:05 pm
Friday, January 29th, 2020 - Allen at Utah. 7:10 pm
Saturday, January 30th, 2020 - Allen at Utah. 7:10 pm.
Sunday, January 31st, 2020 - Allen at Utah. 1:10 pm.
Friday, February 5th, 2020 - Utah at Kansas City. 6:05 pm.
Saturday, February 6th, 2020 - Utah at Kansas City. 6:05 pm
Tuesday, February 9th, 2020 - Utah at Allen. 6:05 pm.
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ECHL Stories from December 31, 2020
- Mavs End 2020 with Thrilling Win against Tulsa - Kansas City Mavericks
- Wegwerth and Scheid Star in Grizzlies Home Opening Win - Utah Grizzlies
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- Thunder Rings in NYE with Win in Allen - Wichita Thunder
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- Wheeling Hands Indy First Loss of the Season - Indy Fuel
- ECHL Transactions - December 31 - ECHL
- Forward Alex Kromm Rejoins Oilers - Tulsa Oilers
- Americans Host Wichita on the Last Day of 2020 - Allen Americans
- Mavs Game Preview December 31 - Kansas City Mavericks
- Grizzlies Preview: December 31, 2020 Rapid City at Utah - Utah Grizzlies
- Solar Bears win 7-4 in high-scoring battle with Everblades - Orlando Solar Bears
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